LEO Austria just showed the caring side of him.
Shortly after San Miguel scored a 111-87 rout of Magnolia in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Austria immediately offered the win to former Beermen star Avelino ‘Samboy’ Lim, whose birthday fell on Easter Sunday.
Lim, who turned 56, is still undergoing treatment after suffering a stroke four years ago.
“Gusto ko lang batiin si Samboy Lim, it’s his birthday today,” said Austria during the post-game interview after the Beermen took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“I’m sure nakikinig siya at nagre-respond (siya),” added the San Miguel coach. “Kaya Samboy, don’t lose hope. We’re praying for you. Happy birthday.”
Four-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo also sent his birthday greetings to Lim as he sat beside Austria in the podium.
Lim played his entire PBA career with San Miguel and is considered one of the greatest players in franchise history.
He was part of the Beermen’s nine championships from 1986 to 1997, including the 1989 grand slam team under former coach Norman Black.
Austria is ahead of Lim in terms of playing years, but has the ultimate respect for the player they called ‘The Skywalker.’
“Napakabait at walang kayabang-yabang despite his stature as a great player,” said the San Miguel coach.
Lim collapsed during a Legends game at the Ynares Center in Pasig on Nov. 28, 2014, and fell into coma for almost two months. His condition has gradually improved since then.